Dealing with programmers who seems to be relaxing

We can compare software development work to craftsman tasks; however, not all managers understand that. Most programmers spend 90% of their time figuring out how to solve the issue or complete the job and only 10% writing code. As a result, managers with no programming experience don’t know what the software developer is doing all the time.

That leads to confusion between managers and programmers since the first ones think that the developer is just relaxing all the time instead of delivering results. So, in this piece, we decided to discuss this issue and assure the manager or a business owner that almost every developer who seems to be relaxing is still working on the challenging task.

Let’s see how it works from the other bank of the river.

When we are working in software development, the primary tool we use is our mind. Sometimes our mind is clouded, and it is challenging to perform the task, and sometimes it is sharp, and we work all week without a pause. There are cases when we are worried about domestic problems or anything else and cannot focus on the task. In other words, any programmer cannot be productive all working day, which might be set from 10 am to 6 pm. Moreover, any developer can stick with the task and might need to talk to our “rubber duck” to solve the problem.

As you see, being a software engineer is a complicated thing. Programmers have unique skills, among others. Some are proficient in a set of languages for the backend, and others are excellent in database engines; some are good with frontend or specific development tools. And when you are trying to unify how to measure a software developer’s work, you cannot accomplish this.

It’s essential to learn that the work they do or problems they solve are unique each time. It’s a rare case when the developer needs to solve the same problem twice in several years. So, there is no quick way to create software. Of course, we can use libraries and frameworks to code faster, but when we need to implement the business rules on software – it is the most challenging task we need to do. And enterprise software is the most complicated type of software we might need to write.  

As a manager or a business owner, you cannot do anything with it. Instead, it would be best if you understand your team. And this understanding will lead you to create more appropriate ways of work and a better strategy.

How to make sure that your developer is working effectively?

The basis of effective work is good management. And if your team is Agile, you won’t be surprised by the trick we will share.

You need to develop the algorithm for assigning new tasks. The task you set shouldn’t be longer than 4 hours (half of the workday) or no more than 16 hours (2 days). If the task lasts longer, you need to break it into several pieces, as many as needed. That will help you to make sure that no time is wasted.

How would this help? If the developer doesn’t finish the assigned task for 4 hours for one day, you can find out if something is wrong. These can be time-wasting, or your developer is blocked by something else and doesn’t ask for help. As a manager, by the end of the day, you will review what is done and determine the issues that must be resolved the next day.

Another issue managers face is the measuring of success with X% completed. Such a measure is not an excellent way to check the project progress since the developer can spend a week completing 90% and another week on the rest 10%. So, the only measure is determining if the task is completed or not.

How to determine if the task is completed?

Remember, the task is completed when the QA or the Client says that the software works as expected. The developer cannot say that the task is done until you get feedback or check it. The task is completed only when involved parties check it.

Hopefully, after reading this piece, you can fully understand your development team. And if you are about to build your own, contact Efisco outstaffing team for help.

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